Mt. Hood Ski Areas

Area Profile
Winter Activities
Summer Activities
Après-ski
Transportation
Housing
Employment

Mt. Hood Ski Area Profiles

Mt. Hood is Oregon’s symbolic landmark and is visible from much of the northern half of the state. Located near the Columbia River about sixty miles east of Portland, Mt. Hood is home to three major ski areas: Timberline Ski Area, Mt. Hood Meadows, and Mt. Hood Ski Bowl. Several small towns surround the mountain.

Government Camp is closest to the mountain and ski resorts, and Zigzag, Rhododendron, Brightwood, and Welches are also nearby.

The total population of these towns is only around 11,500, but the larger cities of Gresham (forty miles from Government Camp) and Sandy (thirty miles from Government Camp) are within commuting distance.

Winter Activities

The largest of the three ski areas gracing Mt. Hood’s shoulders is Mt. Hood Meadows, which offers 2,150 skiable acres, sixty runs, and a 2,777-foot vertical drop. Meadows also entertains night skiers and operates two high -speed quad lifts. Timberline Ski Area offers a 2,616-foot vertical, night skiing, and a super quad chairlift. From May through Labor Day the Palmer chairlift stays open, making summer skiing a reality. Mt. Hood Ski Bowl is the smallest of the three but closest to Portland, and most of the terrain is lighted for night skiing. The Skibowl also has more expert runs than any resort on Mt. Hood.

Snowboarding is allowed at all three ski areas. Telemark skiers will also enjoy the conditions of the Mt. Hood area. The towns around Mt. Hood have mild winter weather and receive mostly rain in the winter months, except for Government Camp which is snowy much of the winter.

Summer Activities

Timberline offers excellent summer skiing and snowboarding for the year-round ski bum. Summertime also brings an onslaught of warm-weather activities, including windsurfing on the Columbia River, exploring backcountry wilderness, and mountain biking. Mt. Hood is the second-most climbed mountain in the world after Mt. Fuji; climbers leave Timberline lodge as early as 12am in order to avoid rock slides caused by melting snow, and arrive at the summit by dawn. Mt. Hood Skibowl offers an alpine slide, horseback riding, bungee jumping, and mountain biking.

Après-ski

If it’s food you require, stop by The Alpine Hut Restaurant and Lounge, Calamity Jane’s Hamburger Parlor in Sandy, or the Mt. Hood Brewing Company and Brew Pub. Visit any of the resorts for a drink and a warm fireside atmosphere.

Transportation

Mount Hood is located sixty miles east of Portland and forty miles east of Gresham. The nearest airport is in Portland, and there are no buses or shuttles from the airport to the ski areas. There are car rentals and a taxi service at the airport, but keep in mind that taxis can be expensive. Call (503) 668-RIDE for specific information on taxi rates.

Meadows has an employee shuttle twice daily from several points around Mt. Hood to the resort. The other area resorts don’t provide transportation for employees, so it’s best to have your own car. Call for shuttle and bus service around the ski area, provided by Luxury Accommodations, (503) 668-RIDE, or ECT Shuttle, (503) 669-0318.

Housing

Housing is fairly limited in the area. Those who get to Mt. Hood early find housing in Government Camp; others live in Mt. Hood, Sandy, Rhododendron, and even Portland. Mt. Hood Meadows provides some housing in nearby towns.

Mt. Hood Ski Area Employment

Check with each ski resort for employment. Jobs in Government Camp and other nearby towns are hard to come by because of the small population.

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